Who to Invite to Your Pre-Wedding Festivities
If you’re reading this, you’re likely in the midst of planning a wedding. Congratulations! Planning your pre-wedding parties can be some of the more fun and less stressful tasks on the checklist. Be prepared to clear your schedule for the next few months! While the happy couple might not have too much say on all the festivities that happen before the wedding, there is one thing they are absolutely in charge of – the guest list.
From the engagement party to the rehearsal dinner, you’re going to have a different guest list for different events. No couple should feel pressured to have every single one of their wedding guests at every event, especially during a pandemic. However, there are traditions for who attends the different events. We have created a handy guide for soon-to-be-married couples as they navigate their guest lists for each of the pre-wedding parties.
The engagement party, ahh! The first big celebration in honor of the recently engaged couple. Typically, a close friend or family member will take the lead in planning this exciting event. The guest list for an engagement party is usually rather small with only close friends and family from both sides. Sometimes, two engagement parties will be held if one side of the family wants to celebrate separately. While these events are ordinarily smaller, you would be surprised how big the guest list can get.
Keep in mind that anyone invited to your engagement party is likely expecting an invitation to the main event!
The wedding shower is normally the next event after the engagement party. For the couple, this is a fun and easy event! All you need to decide is the guest list and what you want to wear. Your wedding party and family members put on the show otherwise (in most cases). When planning your guest list, keep in mind it would be poor etiquette to invite someone who is not on your wedding guest list.
The majority of guests will include the couple’s wedding party, close friends, and family members. If both families have helped out with the planning of the shower, you can count on inviting both sides of the family too. If you are close with any of your partner’s friends coming to the wedding, it’s a nice gesture to invite them as well.
There are other people to consider too, like your partner. Traditionally, wedding showers have been all ladies. However, recently it’s become more common for the groom to make an appearance at the end. Others to consider are those who live out of town and your co-workers. While it is unlikely that out-of-towners will attend until the big day, it makes them feel loved and appreciated to have made the guest list for the other festivities too. As for your co-workers, if you are close enough to invite them to the wedding and hang out with them outside of work, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to put them on the guest list (even though they might already have one planned for you at work, bonus!).
The bachelorette and bachelor parties are somewhat obvious, as you will most definitely have all of your wedding party on the guest list. However, close friends and family members can join in the fun too. The guest list can become a headache, though, when you think about the mix of personalities going on a weekend (or longer) trip together. The guest list could also depend on the type of activities planned. It’s important to keep in mind not only to do what you are comfortable with, but also what your guests are comfortable with.
Last but certainly not least, one of the most exciting activities of all, the rehearsal dinner! This is where your family and friends, and out-of-town guests, become better acquainted. The rehearsal dinner is not only meant to prepare the engaged couple for their big day, but to say thank you to everyone who has helped with the preparations and/or traveled miles to be with you. Ordinarily, family members of both parties, anyone participating in your ceremony, and their plus ones or significant others, and out-of-town guests receive the invite to a rehearsal dinner.
Of course, invitations are always up to the discretion of the couple. We’ve seen it done a thousand different ways! This is simply a guide and ultimately, it is entirely up to the couple. We wish you the best of luck in your planning! When it comes to choosing the entertainment for your wedding, we hope you choose to check out some of our awesome packages.